How to Make Friends as an Adult
22 February 2018 | beando_admin
Being with other people is good for us. Feeling we belong to a social network of close friends is thought to strengthen our immunity, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older. Of course, we also know the opposite is true too – not having close personal relationships negatively impacts our wellbeing and health.
We are all hardwired for positive connectivity, whether that’s mentally, physically or emotionally. In fact, at the quantum levels we are all so entangled that it’s difficult to know when one person stops and another begins.
When more than three people are together in one space we automatically create the bonds of community. This is why we invented villages, towns and cities in the first place. We need mutual support, connection and protection. We thrive when we are together, as we are all social animals. Being together for mutual support is one of our most vital default operating modes.
Making Friends as Adults
You might remember being at school or at university, times when it seemed relatively easy to make friends, join in and feel connected and embraced. Those managed and structured environments of common interest and location created a ready-made community within which friendship could flourish. Although that’s not always the case, of course – there are plenty of studies which show that some people have found those years isolating and stressful too.
As an adult setting out into the world, developing friendships and closer links towards others becomes progressively more challenging. You may find you have moved around a lot, switched careers, moved to different cities or even countries. As we get older we do tend to lose our family and friends. It’s natural but it can also be very lonely.
It’s said that through social media, we are more connected than ever and yet, there are numerous studies that show people are feeling more and more isolated from each other. This feeling of loneliness and isolation is a major source of unhappiness. You may have lots of friends that comment and like your posts but it’s quality and connection rather than quantity that’s important. Close and deep connectivity to others is a source of great happiness; we intuitively know that and now it’s been confirmed by research.
For many, making friends as an adult is difficult; there seem to be fewer opportunities, unless you can empower yourself to do something about it. If you feel this, don’t ever think that making friends is something you cannot do. You can!
You already have all the skills needed to make friends. Because making friends is an entirely human thing to do. Once you learn this, just knowing who you are and where you are going will help friendships to evolve.
Like all relationships, the process of friendship needs to be managed, looked after and nurtured. And of course the key is learning not to try too hard. Learn to let go – here’s how:
1. Make it your intention to step out of your comfort zone
This is an obvious point. It’s pretty hard to make friends if you don’t get out, change your routine and empower yourself to do something you’ve probably always wanted to do. Don’t let expectation, past disappointment or restrictive thoughts close you off. That way you can begin to naturally change your daily routine and have the courage to do it.
2. Trust yourself and know that you are OK
You don’t need to be perfect, or change who you are or what you do. Don’t think you have to be somebody else to win over new friends. Simply stay authentic to your own self and remove any self doubt. Sure, there is likely to be a voice in your head that says you’re not good enough, but that voice is not real. You are perfect as you are.
3. Minimise expectation
Try not to plan too much. Avoid expectation because that puts pressure on you and everybody else. Expectations towards yourself and applied to others is toxic to making friends.
4. Stay present
Being present is the key to your happiness. It brings acceptance, connection, empathy and generosity – all of which are vital components for a quality friendship. When you are present, all of these key qualities will flow naturally.
5. Practice modern meditation
Here’s the secret of making authentic, lasting friendship – all of the above will happen naturally when you learn to let go, be in the moment and flow. All of these skills are developed through the practice of modern meditation. Learning to be a good friend and learning how to manage good friendships are skills already built-in – all you need to do is activate them.
It’s thought that the impact of one person meditating regularly impacts on 100 other people. People notice when you are open, relaxed and connected. People will want to spend time with you, sit next to you on the bus and will be happy to strike up a conversation.
Now that’s how you make friends.
If you’d like to learn more about modern meditation, take a look at our meditation services. Each is designed to meet the needs of different people, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. So which is the one for you?